Four teens riding in an SUV in the Texas panhandle were fatally injured when their SUV collided with a gas tanker truck. The driver of the truck was seriously injured in the fatal crash; he was taken to the burn center in Lubbock and last listed in critical condition. The gas tanker ignited after the collision, engulfing both the semi and the SUV in flames.
The teen driver of the SUV had failed to stop at a stop sign, causing the fatal crash according to investigators. About one quarter of the teens lost each year throughout the country are lost to fatal motor vehicle accidents like this one in Dumas.
And like another, very close in time, that happened in Ohio. Just hours before the Texas teen driving tragedy, six teens in Ohio were killed when the SUV they were riding in flipped and landed in a pond just off the highway. Eight teens had crammed into a Honda Passport, which is built to seat only five. None were wearing seatbelts as the teen driver sped down an Ohio roadway.
The two lone survivors of the Ohio crash had to break out the back window of the SUV to escape the submerging vehicle. They ran to the closest home and called 911.
The driver in the Ohio crash was 19; her passengers ranged in age from 14-15. The driver in the Texas crash was only 16; his passengers ranged in age from 15-17.
As grief counselors stand by in each community to help teens and families deal with their losses, the tragedy is a sad reminder that fatal motor vehicle accidents are the number one threat to the lives of teens across the United States.
Source: CNN, “5 die in fiery collision with tanker truck in Texas,” March 12, 2013